Hunting with Caribou Gear Game Bags

The Real Cost of Cheap Game Bags vs. Caribou Gear Game Bags

Author Ryan McSparran

We recognize the fact that Caribou Gear game bags come with a higher upfront cost than most other game bags. A hunter might easily wonder why they’d invest in Caribou Gear when there are cheaper options available. We get it. And it’s a conversation we’re not afraid to have. Because we believe that Caribou Gear game bags offer a much greater value. 

Here are some of the reasons hunters should evaluate the real cost of cheap game bags versus Caribou Gear game bags:

Higher Meat Yield

First and most importantly, it’s about taking care of wild game meat in the best way possible. Caribou Gear game bags are the only patented game bags for a very good reason.

Most knock-off game bags are made with nylon. This is where the problems begin...

Go for a run in a nylon jacket and you’ll get the picture. Nylon has a tendency to hang on to moisture. It doesn’t allow it to dissipate. On top of that, nylon has solar properties that when warmed, creates a greenhouse effect. All nylon fabrics will do the same thing to your hard-earned wild game. The meat quickly becomes slimy, which is one of the first signs of bacterial growth. That’s bad news for meat eaters. I have personally seen meat in a nylon game bag become slimy after only an hour. It doesn’t take long for your meat to be compromised.

A few knock-off game bags have attempted to blend cotton with nylon to imitate the breathability of Caribou Gear bags. However, this is equally problematic. Once cotton is wet, it stops breathing and performing at all. And cotton takes a long time to dry. Cotton will even wick moisture right out of the air. One way or another, as soon as it becomes wet, you’ll have another bacteria problem on your hands. Really, the weakness of a cotton blend is just as bad as pure nylon.

Finally, many hunters are familiar with the cheesecloth style game bags. If you’ve ever used one, we probably don’t have to point out the weaknesses. But in case you’re not familiar with them, here’s the dirty truth: cheesecloth style game bags stretch over the meat, creating gaps that easily allow flies to penetrate. This creates a perfect little nursery for maggots. Additionally, dirt and debris will easily come into contact with your meat through the holes. Needless to say, these bags are never a good idea.

All Caribou Gear game bags are built with the same patented, proprietary material. It’s a completely unique synthetic fabric. It has the breathability of cotton – without actually using any cotton in the material. The breathability allows hunters to hang meat inside the bags, where it can form a perfect, dry rind. Cool, dry meat that is protected from dirt and insects is the ideal scenario. Caribou Gear founder, Ted Ramirez, has successfully kept meat in great condition for more than two weeks on long float trips in Alaska. 

All this to say – investing in Caribou Gear game bags means coming home with a higher yield of better tasting wild game meat. That alone should be enough to justify the cost. But that’s not the end of the story…

Longer Lasting Game Bags

Caribou Gear game bags are built to last. When cared for properly, a set of bags can last for many years. In fact, I have a set of Caribou Gear Wapiti bags that I’ve used for the past six seasons. They are still in excellent condition and I won’t be retiring them anytime soon. 

We mentioned above that many knock-off game bags are made with nylon. The downsides of pure nylon don’t end with meat care. Nylon is a naturally slick material and therefore, can be pulled apart at the seams. Assuming you intend to place a heavy hindquarter in the game bag, you can expect those nylon seams to slip under intense weight.

The same thing can be said for cotton blends. Moisture isn’t the only reason you should avoid using a cotton-blended game bag. Adding cotton will further compromise the strength of the fabric and durability is a real concern. The final nail in the coffin for cotton is that it stains. Good luck getting those cotton bags clean.

How about cheesecloth style bags? They are designed as a one-time-use product. When it comes to longevity, there’s no contest. It’s easy to see how the cost of these bags would add up quickly. Remember those six-year-old Caribou Gear game bags I mentioned above? If I’d replaced those with single-use cheesecloth bags, I would have spent more than three times as much! And that’s assuming I only needed them for one animal each year.

Caribou Gear game bags are extremely durable. And they’re easy to clean. While the cost of a cheap game bag might be tempting up front, Caribou Gear bags will still be performing years from now. Check out our previous video and tips on how to clean your Caribou Gear bags. 

Species and Hunt-Specific Packages

When you purchase a set of Caribou Gear game bags, you’re getting exactly what you need for your hunt. A customized set allows you to pack exactly what you need, without unnecessary weight or bulk.

No other game bag company offers the variety of species-specific and hunt-specific game bag sets. This isn’t offered from other game bag companies because it’s more work and it’s more expensive. All of our game bag sets are hand-folded and packaged by our team right here in Colorado. We’re proud to be a U.S. company. And we’re proud to make highly practical game bag packages that are a better long-term investment.

Those cheap, cheesecloth style game bags come it packages of four. Really? You have to wonder whose idea that was. Most of us would need to purchase two packs because we need four quarter bags, plus another bag for backstraps and loose meat. And what if you need a bag for the cape? If you’re hunting in Alaska, don’t forget that in many units, you’re required to bring the ribs too. 

At Caribou Gear, none of this has been overlooked. Our game bag packages are designed for hunters, by hunters. We are proud to offer game bag sets that will work for any species and any situation. From frontcountry to backcountry to Alaska, our packs include everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Finally, most other game bags come in a single size. Assuming they can hold a bull elk, that’s fine. But what if you’re a backcountry deer hunter or antelope hunter? With a one-size-fits-all game bag set, you’re carrying more weight and bulk in your backpack than you need. On the other end of the spectrum, what if you need a set of game bags that can handle a moose?

At Caribou Gear, we’ve got you covered. From Coues deer to moose, we have sizes to fit any need. We also sell full carcass bags. And if you need to replace a bag, we sell single quarter bags in three different sizes.

You can click here to shop our entire lineup of Caribou Gear game bags.

In the end, Caribou Gear game bags offer a much better value. They provide far superior meat care performance in the field. They will last much longer. And we package sets that are designed to take on any species on any type of hunt. 

Contact Us With Questions

If you need help choosing the right game bags for your next adventure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

We look forward to helping you find the gear you need for your next hunt!

By Ryan McSparran

Ryan is an outdoor writer based in Colorado, and is proud to be a part of the team at Caribou Gear.

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